This topic was first posted on FireCritic.com here: http://firecritic.com/2010/11/should-sex-offenders-be-firefighters-...

Can Sex Offenders be firefighters? Should sex offenders be firefighters? What about pardoned ones?

I am currently working on a story and one of the intriguing details is that a current firefighter WAS a convicted sex offender. The person was pardoned and is not a registered sex offender. The offense was bad (they all are). The offense
happened 30 years ago prior to the current laws that protect us from
these criminals. Should he be allowed to be a firefighter?


Here are my thoughts. Sex offenders should not be firefighters. I do not know of a National standard or regulation on this issue. However, if this man was pardoned and the infraction occurred prior to current
regulations should he/she still be punished for a crime they was
pardoned for? After all, they were pardoned and basically the crime is
no longer part of their wrap sheet (hopefully there is nothing else).
This is basically a loophole due to previously lackadaisical laws.


I just wonder if fire departments can legally disqualify someone from being a firefighter for something that might not show up on their background check. I am not sure it would in this case, but what if
someone brought it to the FD’s attention.


The questions are:

  • Should sex offenders be allowed to be firefighters? What about EMT’s?
  • Should previously pardoned sex offenders be allowed to be firefighters?
  • What about EMT’s?
  • Does your department look for this information in their background checks?

Here are some articles I found on the topic of sex offender/firefighters:

NSOPR – National Sex Offender Public Registry

FBI Sex Offender Registry

You might remember a while back that I posted a question on Firefighter Nation about Felons being firefighters. That discussion continues to spark interest from time to time and the conversation is rehashed. My answer remains to be NO. Several people
said that it depended on the crime. My reply….Name a GOOD Felony! I
didn’t think so. Felonies are felonies for a reason. They are crimes.


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No, please do not read into my term of "liberal" I do not mean one party over another...as I feel both parties have their share of crooks..
Just wanted to throw this into the mix. Kind of off topic a little, but still same neighborhood.

What if this guy, or someone like him, wanted to join a department?. He has no sex offense record, no other criminal record. May be a nice enough fellow. Then reveals a book he has written to accentuate his intelligence. He has no record, would he be accepted or rejected? What about his freedoms or rights?
http://www.videowired.com/watch/?id=2685423328
Yes, but here it IS called public urination...that's why I posted it....
You brought it up!
don't have a problem with same sex marriage....as long as both women are hot.....

So that's the criteria now? To think all of the politicians, religious leaders, do-gooders, nay-sayers and everyone else with an opinion has been looking at the debate in the wrong way....
Just my sick way of putting things in perspective.....LOL.... Think maybe I have eaten too much smoke a time or two....
i say no like the others say your in contact with the public on almost a daily basis and if they don't allow them in the armyor military then it should be the same with anything else. And as far as felons should go i say no to that too. regardless if there "innocent" or not it shouldn't matter there up for court and hat means theirs something they did top get them in that situation so NO
Hey, I don't care what religion they follow......
H*ll no!!!! You do not have the right to make sexual advances towards a child......
If you get convicted by a jury of your peers then yes.
In Connecticut, if you stole $999.99, it is a class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in local/county jail, repayment and fines.

If you steal $1000, it is a class D Felony, punishable in state prison for over 1 year.

Generally speaking, $0.01 is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.

The same holds true in a motor vehicle accident with DUI. Property damage below a certain amount is a Class A misdemeanor, above that amount, a Class D felony. It could be the difference between hitting a 2005 versus a 2006 automobile.

So someone with a Class A Misdemeanor is acceptable but someone with a Class D Felony is not?

I think the point some are trying to make here is that there needs to be some examination of the charges and circumstances rather than a black-and-white yeah or nay. My point being that while many (most) agree that a felon should not be a firefighter they do so without realizing that the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is razor thin and oftentimes a subjective decision made by either the prosecuting attorney or the judge.

And I know that some will simply say that regardless of the 'difference', a felony is a felony and a felon should not be hired. I'm simply saying that while a felony has the appearance of a significant crime it may literally be only a difference of a few cents and circumstance.

A person that happens to cause a slightly lower different dollar amount in damages is eligible to be hired while one who happened to cause a slightly higher dollar amount in damages is not where both crimes were the same is fair?

Anyone have, or know of someone that has, an old headstone? Class C felony in Connecticut. Tip over a headstone in a cemetery? Class C felony. Knock down a fence to get into a cemetery? Class C felony.

I agree that, in most cases a felon should not be hired as a firefighter and for the reasons most have already stated. However, as I've tried to point out here it isn't always black and white. But rather than get all high and mighty on this issue it might be worthwhile to explore what your own state determines what is and is not a felony, where they may or may not be hired and how they may clear their record and the results thereof. You might be surprised.

But then...that might actually entail one to do some research and reading in order to be more fully informed. As opposed, say, to simply voicing an opinion that may or not actually be relevant in their own state.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/rpt/2005-r-0311.htm
http://www.cslib.org/finespenalt.htm
http://law.justia.com/connecticut/codes/2005/title53a/sec53a-186.html
My personal opinion is if you are convicted of any crime be it felon or misdemeanor you should apply else where. You are in a position of trust and a crime is a crime no matter what the severity is.

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